More than a century ago, O’Melveny’s founders emphasized that serving and improving our community would be a central tenet of the firm. The firm’s commitment to improving access to education in its local communities advances that commitment every day.
O’Melveny’s efforts have included launching a global scholarship program, donating backpacks stuffed with school supplies for children in need, launching local book drives for underprivileged children, and driving the financial support to build a school in rural China.
In 1990, O’Melveny launched its first scholarship program in Los Angeles, awarding scholarships to deserving 6th and 12th graders from disadvantaged backgrounds who showed academic promise. Since then, O’Melveny’s scholarship commitment has grown into a global program, rewarding the scholastic achievements of deserving young people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Beijing, and Shanghai. In addition to financial support, O’Melveny’s scholarship recipients receive hands-on support, including mentorship, interview training, and networking assistance. Over the past 30 years, the firm has contributed more than US$10 million toward scholarships for hundreds of students who excel academically but need a helping hand to realize their dreams.
O’Melveny Scholarship Program
O'Melveny’s long-standing relationship with O'Melveny Elementary School dates back to 1991 when we were paired as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District's Adopt-a-School Program. Every year, eight fifth-grade students are selected as O’Melveny Scholars. Upon enrolling in college, O’Melveny Scholars receive $6,000 a year for four years to help finance their college education. To date, the program has helped 260 students realize their dream of attending college. Los Angeles partner John Laco serves as chair of the O’Melveny Scholarship Program.
Warren Christopher Scholarship Program
In 1992, O’Melveny established the Warren Christopher Scholarship Program to honor Warren Christopher, the firm’s former chairman and senior partner, when President Bill Clinton appointed him US Secretary of State. In addition to O’Melveny, the Warren Christopher Scholarship Program has garnered support from various foundations, organizations, and external donors, including, but not limited to, the California Community Foundation, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, KCRW, LACMA, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Alessandra and Giacomino Drago, the Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation, and Viveca and Will Ferrell. Every year, 15 Los Angeles Unified School District sophomores are selected as Warren Christopher Scholars. Upon enrolling in college, Warren Christopher Scholars receive $5,000 a year for four years to help finance their college education. To date, the program has helped 266 students realize their dream of attending college. Century City partner Matt Kline serves as chair of the Warren Christopher Scholarship Program.
Shanghai Legal Scholarship Awards
As a demonstration of our long-standing commitment to China, O’Melveny established the Shanghai Legal Scholarship Awards in 1998. Every year, 12 third-year undergraduates or second-year postgraduate law students (including doctorate candidate students) are selected from the three leading Shanghai law schools (East China University of Political Science and Law, Fudan University Law School, and Shanghai University of International Business and Economics School of Law). The Shanghai scholarship helps recipients finance their law school education. Shanghai partner Walker Wallace serves as chair of the Shanghai Legal Scholarship Awards.
Beijing Legal Scholarship Awards
In 2002, O’Melveny established the Beijing Legal Scholarship Awards to further our long-standing commitment to China. Every year, 12 third-year undergraduates or second-year postgraduate law students (including doctorate candidate students) are selected from the five leading Beijing law schools (China University of Political Science and Law, Peking University Law School, Renmin University of China Law School, Tsinghua University School of Law, and University of International Business and Economics School of Law). The Beijing scholarship helps recipients finance their law school education. Beijing partner Ke Geng serves as chair of the Beijing Legal Scholarship Awards.
New York Scholarship Program
In 2003, O'Melveny established its New York Scholarship Program to encourage high school juniors from across the city to pursue a college education. Every year, three high school juniors from each of New York City’s five boroughs are selected to join the New York Scholarship Program. Five scholars receive $3,500 a year for four years, the remaining ten scholars receive $500 a year for four years. New York partner Jeff Kohn serves as chair of the New York Scholarship Program.
San Francisco Scholarship Program
In 2006, O’Melveny established the San Francisco Scholarship Program for the students of Balboa High School. Located in San Francisco’s Excelsior District, Balboa High School has historically educated a greater proportion of the city’s underserved and ethnically diverse students relative to other high schools in the city. Every year, three high-achieving tenth-grade students are selected (one O’Melveny Scholar and two finalists). Upon enrolling in college, the O’Melveny scholar receives $5,000 per year for four years; the two finalists each receive $1,000. San Francisco partner Caitlin Bair serves as the chair of the San Francisco Scholarship Program.